BRIEF BLOG INTRO: I'm a singer/songwriter and actor from Texas who is "Living in the Bonus Round" in New York City-- having cheated death from AIDS. (In a game show, the Bonus Round is where time speeds up and the prizes are better.) Accepting my death changed me. Now, I'm consuming life as quickly and as fully as I can, while still taking time to breathe and appreciate every single day as an utter miracle.
I'm a man on a mission to convince you that music is a Super Power, and that life is worth living, no matter how many obstacles are placed in your way. And that you can accomplish great things if you just push ahead and don't let anyone tell you no.
In 2013, I turned 60 and I created a set of goals, all of which came true, including composing -- and performing in -- a Mass, recording a solo album (selling 10s of copies), headlining to a sold out house at a major night club in New York City (while getting great reviews). Now I'm out to redefine theater and cabaret. I update a few times a month these days, and I don't spam. So it's easier to keep up with me by following by Email. When this blog began, it was to track my death. I'm told it was the first AIDS blog. You can start at the gruesome beginning if you want. Or just jump in and maybe we can learn some life lessons together. Welcome to the Bonus Round. I'm Steve [SHACK-lin] and we're just getting started.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The point being that when you take a man, deprive him of any kind of social romantic interaction and sexual maturity, insist that he can NEVER have these things, he panics and thinks the only solution is to enter the priesthood so that he can find solace and healing in the church.
But what they actually encounter, inside, is an even more rigid authoritarian system where sexuality is even more hidden and covered up and not talked about.
Are these people actually pedophiles in the classic way we think of pedophiles? I believe the gay community, which avoids this subject like the plague, too easily labels them as such in order to say, "Well, they're NOT one of us!" Because, indeed, they aren't. The rest of us went on to create actual adult relationships, even though our psycho-sexual adolescence is usually postponed until our 20s, when we can get out of high school and our parents' homes.
The church has, indeed, covered up these sins/crimes. But did they do it because, since so many of them are also closeted homosexuals, hounded into the ministry by the rules of the 50s and 60s? Would these men have possibly otherwise, had the sexual revolution happened for them, never gone into the priesthood in the first place?
I kinda think so.
Sure, we can say that an adult is responsible for his own actions. But it's the closet and the demonization of homosexuality that is most probably at the root cause of most of these "old" molestations to begin with.
Deprive a human being of a natural development, and you end up with someone whose sexuality will come out twisted. As Andrew says, I bet many of these men never really thought of themselves as molesters, nor thought of the young victims as victims. Doesn't change what they did, nor the damage they caused, nor the damage caused by the hierarchy that covered it up, but it's all human nature.
This is what happens when you tell a gay kid that he's going to hell for being gay. He can run (into the priesthood), but he can't hide. Taken as a study in human sexuality, now we know what happens.
Monday, March 29, 2010
The Irish Curse has neither the heart-rending character sketches of William Inge's Come Back Little Sheba nor the stirring melodies of Steve Schalchlin's musical, The Last Session to recommend it.I don't like that they had beating up on someone else's work to salute my own, but I'll take a compliment when it's offered!
And on June 23, right here in New York City, The Last Session will come roaring back to life. One night only at Theater at St. Clement's.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
But it all starts with a single step. I would work up my energy to get up, and step up on one step, then step down again. And that would exhaust me for the rest of the day. But it was one step, then two steps, and then, soon, walking again.
I brought the video camera along with me, so I'll put up video soon. (She's doing much better, by the way, but she's still very weak, and she still has it in one lung). I know some of her friends and admirers read my blog. So, I'll keep you posted.
We do love having Zero Hour down at Union Square. I hope you can tell it from the videos. When I got there yesterday, the farmer's market was just shutting down, and they were selling these magnificent loaves of bread for $2.00. I got the biggest, crustiest one.
Mmm. Homemade crusty bread.
I also changed the layout of the blog, if you haven't seen it in awhile. Blogger has all these new templates. So, I took one that looks like a rock star. I'll probably change it a lot just to see what matches.
But in my heart, I'll always be a rock star.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Since I've never liked pastiche songs, written as if from the 40s, I approached this show with trepidation. But the score moved the show along beautifully, and though I wouldn't say the writers are in the same category as a Cole Porter, it didn't matter because, as a whole, the piece is a well-told story, directed with fluidity and magic.
The York should be very proud. A wonderful, wonderful show.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Photo credit: 2009, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
A New York moment for me.
Because Piper Laurie knows Bob Osborne, we invited him to Zero Hour, and now he's Jim's biggest fan. So we invited Bob over for a small dinner party, and, on a whim, Jim sends a note to Angela Lansbury, who we do not know, but who's doing a Broadway show down the block, and invites her.
And she said YES.
And she came!
So, last night, I was sitting in my bedroom, on the bed, talking to Jerry Stiller, with Steve Ross playing the piano, while Bob and Angela are in the next room talking to Marge Champion.
Bob Osborne, Louise Hirschfeld, Marge Champion, Jim Brochu.
New York is very surreal, especially when my face is overlooking Times Square on the NASDAQ building, which is what happened earlier yesterday. (Video is coming soon!)
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
As we've been putting together plans for a new TLS concert performance / staged reading (June 23! Put it in your calendar!), I suddenly got several notes from him.
And, of course, that brought me right back to the death of our dear friend, Dick Remley, who also was in his death coma, but came back out of it just long enough for all of us around him to say goodbye.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Saturday, March 06, 2010
And this is what we heard...
Friday, March 05, 2010
It has still been very cold here, and that prevents me from doing much exploring. But, yesterday, I went over to Ed's office, grabbed the newly "sniped" poster -- meaning we took the old posters and put new information over them -- and put it up at the Polish Tea Room and at Sardi's.
Then, Jim and I went down and he did the show to a very receptive audience.
Sunday is our re-opening, but we're not doing a big party. Just a few refreshments in the lobby. Also, unlike a lot of openings, people have actually bought tickets! There'll be a few invited guests, but mostly, it'll be real people in the audience. Imagine that!
So, again, I'll be posting new video soon. Just have to find the time to cut it all together!
It's hard to believe that it's almost time for 2010's Broadway Beauty Pageant, pitting Broadway's hottest guys against each other to benefit The Ali Forney Center. It's an old fashioned beauty pageant with an American Idol twist.
We've just announced that the always marvelous Tovah Feldshuh will return to host for the third time. Announcements on contestants and judges are coming up, it's gonna be a great group!
Get your tickets now, starting at just $25.
This is the forth year that I've co-produced the show with my friends Jeffery Self & Wil Fisher. But, every year the pageant grows and more and more people join to help us make the night a huge success. I'm thankful to all of them!
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Jim sang, Monday night, at Divo Night at the Friar's Club. Here are pictures from BroadwayWorld.com. He was thrilled to share the stage with Broadway legend, Len Cariou.